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Knowing How Much to Tip While Vacationing in Hawaii


Tipping is a way to show your service professionals that you appreciate what they’ve done for you. It’s a common practice in the United States, a practice that most definitely extends to Hawaii even though technically the islands are located in the South Pacific where tipping isn’t done. Tipping is way to enhance the livelihood of locals who work in the service industry, such as waiters, tour guides, and bell hops.

Tipping is even more crucial in Hawaii, where the cost of living is higher than the norm. How do you know how much is enough when tipping while here? Check out some good tipping guidelines to follow while on your Hawaiian trip.


If a luggage handler takes your bags for you, whether curbside or inside the actual airport, you should tip between $1 and $2 per bag. Shuttle drivers should get at least $1, more if they load and unload your bags for you.


Limo and taxi drivers should get at least 15 percent of the entire round trip cost, 20 percent if you can swing it.

Tour Guides

Most people know to tip in restaurants, but they tend to neglect their tour guides, thinking the tip is included. Generally, for half-day tours you should tip your tour guide $10 and for full-day tours, $20. Of course, if your tour guide goes out of his way to make your excursion remarkable, funny or special in some stand-out way, go ahead and tip more.


Bellhops who take your bags and deliver them to your room deserve $2 per bag. You can round this up and pay $5 for two bags and $10 for more than two bags. The better you tip, the better they’ll treat you. From small perks to upgrades, treat your bellhops right and they’ll remember you – in a good way. Be cheap and they’ll remember you too!

Don’t worry about tipping the front desk clerk or the concierge, but if someone goes above and beyond to help you, a small tip is always appreciated. Valet parkers should get between $2 and $3 for getting your car every time. When an attendant calls a cab for you, tip them at least $2. Housekeeping staff should receive $2 per day that you’re staying in your room. Again, if your housekeeper does something extra special for you, increase the tip. Put it in a marked envelope and leave it on the TV stand, or just hand it to her on your way out if you see her.

Room service tips are usually included in the overall cost of the bill. They will typically include a 15 to 20 percent tip, so read the fine print. If it’s not included, add in 20 percent.


Restaurants that offer sit-down service typically get 15 to 20 percent but you can certainly give more for excellent service. Tip a couple of bucks for the coat checker who takes your jacket.
The overall lesson about tipping in Hawaii is like anywhere else: treat your service professionals well and they will treat you well in return. Call Hoku Hawaii Tours when you’re in Oahu. We’ve got something very special planned for you!